Friday, February 23, 2007

Day 54: Exercise & Recovery

Workouts. . .
Does thinking about working out count as working out? Probably not. . . .

Today I realized that I need to recommit to exercise. I’ve been slacking. I was on the American Diabetis Association’s website, taking a preliminary health exam to see if I’d get diabetis, when I found out that my BMI on their tracker is borderline overweight. Ew. I worry about adult onset because relatives on both sides of my family have gotten it, mostly in their 50s and 60s, and most for reasons of obesity. But with that track record, you never know. My grandfather had his leg amputated below the knee in his early 60s, and then had to have several more inches taken off a decade later. I do not want that to be me, especially for reasons of personal neglect and laziness. And I am definitely lazy.

According to most BMI trackers, I’m on the cusp of being overweight, which I’ve always been. Not that I look overweight, but I’ve also got a very healthy frame — “sturdy stock,” my dad calls it. It was never that desirable to me, however it’s phrased, to look thick or to be on the border of overweight, even if it is with muscle mass. My resting heart rate is 67, and my blood pressure is 96/55. I really have nothing to worry about. Yet.

Here’s what made me think of diabetis: sometimes when I wake up in the morning, for no obvious reason, one of my hands will be asleep. It’s not dangling awkwardly over anything, but something, I feel like, is inhibiting the blood flow. I decided to see whether that was one of the warning signs for diabetis. It’s not. But I’ve always worried about my circulation, which is poor in my feet and hands, supposedly typical of females. Even when I work out a ton, I still suffer from cold appendages. What’s a girl to do?

However, my exercise log clearly shows a lack of physical exertion on most days of most weeks. I am on my feet at Starbucks four days a week, moving rapidly most of that time, which counts for something. But it’s not going to improve my overall health if it doesn’t bring me to a sweat. I’ve got a new battery for either of my pedometers on the grocery list for this weekend. I’m going to keep track of steps next week and use that input to decide what my next steps should be. I got a brochure from America on the Move ( a nonprofit promoting health to the public) called “Steps to a Healthier Way of Life” from my local library. In it, there’s a log sheet to track six weeks of stepping. They have some good tips in the brochure, like testing the pedometer’s stride by walking fifty steps. I haven’t done that before, and I totally guessed when setting up my stride length.

Dinnertime came around tonight, and I felt decent enough to eat. Now I am suffering for that. Still not at 100%, I guess. Maybe the Pepto-Bismol will help. Anyway, even George liked the squash-apple soup I made (recipes below) and the fig jam turned out surprisingly good despite the extra-hard hazelnuts.

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
2 T vegetable oil
1 shallot, minced
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/4” cubes
2 apples, any kind, cored and diced
2 c. vegetable broth
pinch of salt
fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp freshly-grated nutmeg

Place oil in a four-quart pot over medium-high heat and, when smoking, add shallots. Cook two minutes, until transclucent, then add the vegetable broth and turn burner to high. When the broth is boiling, drop in the squash. Let the squash boil with the lid on for 10 minutes. Add the apples and enough water to cover the entire mix. Cook 15 minutes or until both the squash and the apples are soft. Transfer to a blender (or use an immersion blender) to puree the soup. Season the soup to taste and serve with the fig jam and toast or crackers (below).

Fig & Hazelnut Jam
8 dried figs
1/4 c. hazelnuts
2 T raw sugar
tiny pinch of salt

Use a food processor to mix the figs and nuts with the sugar and pinch of salt. Add only enough water, a tablespoon at a time, to let the processor work. When smooth, smear on either crackers (which is all I had) or thin slices of baguette. Cut thin slices of high-quality parmesan and place on crackers. If I had planned better, I’d also have used thin slices of apple here, but I used the entire apple for my soup. ;)

What I ate today. . .
7:30 a.m. – tea with milk
8:30 a.m. – two slices wheat toast with avocado slices, salt & pepper
9:30 a.m. – leftover cinnamon bread
12:45 p.m. – pre-made salad with Dorothy Lynch dressing that I spilled everywhere, two slices wheat bread with two slices Worthington turkey lunch meat, lettuce and 1 T mayo
2:30 p.m. – Starbucks double tall 1p peppermint 2p white mocha
6:30 p.m. – 1-1/2 c. squash-apple soup, 1/2 c. stuffing, 1/2 c. roasted parsnips, 3 reduced-fat ritz crackers with fig jam and a thin slice of parmesan

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